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Scariest set in the city? A look at Eastern State Penitentiary’s most famous videos

The Dead Milkmen's "Punk Rock Girl" video features Joe Jack Talcum singing in the Rotunda as Rodney Anonymous walking around the cellblocks of ESP reading a newspaper
The Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl” video features Joe Jack Talcum singing in the Rotunda as Rodney Anonymous walking around the cellblocks of ESP reading a newspaper

Most Philadelphians are familiar with Fairmount’s massive landmark Eastern State Penitentiary. The looming structure, which closed in 1971 after 142 years as a prison, reopened in 1994 for guided tours, and has since become a destination for thrill-seekers during Bastille Day and Halloween season. However, beyond the zombie-fied chaos, the space itself offers an amazing backdrop for, well, anything.  We decided to look back at a few ways musicians and other visual artists have used ESP over the last few decades. Continue reading →

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Dice Raw heads to Eastern State Penitentiary to discuss Jimmy’s Back on July 1st

dice-raw
Photo courtesy of the artist

Last year, Philly MC (and Roots crew affiliate) Dice Raw released a masterpiece concept album called Jimmy’s Back, in which Dice raps about the issues involved in the country’s prison system. Taking cues from Dr. Michelle Alexander’s 2010 book The New Jim Crow, the album creatively looks at how prisons disproportionately incarcerate black men and does little to prepare inmates for life in society once they’re released. In honor of this meaningful and culturally significant album, Dice Raw will head to Philly’s Eastern State Penitentiary for a performance, as well as a discussion on the impact the prison system has on the black community and society as a whole. The performance / talk is free and open to the public. Information on the event can be found here.